11 Santa’s Little Helpers

Mr. Coffee: An adorable one-shot between the jolly fat man and one of his elves. I wonder if we’ll see some Yuletide magic?

December 24, 2029 – Hickfield Clinic

Passing him a candy cane, Adrian Andrews, dressed as one of Santa’s Little Helpers flashed a gleaming smile at the adorable dark-haired little boy as he tried to push himself out of his wheelchair to sit onto the lap of volunteer Saint Nicholas, whose plushy seat was set up within the festive Santa’s Village in the hospital’s pediatric ward. The child smiled and ducked his head shyly at the pretty blonde in her red and green elf costume and tried to align his chair alongside Santa to push himself onto the older man’s knee without falling over due to the cumbersome cast on his leg.

“Did you need some help, sweetie?” She asked kindly, already reaching down to lift the boy, but Mr. Claus had already beat her to the punch, easily scooping the child up into the air and setting him down on his lap as though he were as light as a feather, despite the additional weight of the heavy plaster cast.

“What’s your name?” Santa asked the boy, smiling down at him as Adrian took note of the long queue of sweet-faced cherubs, all hospital patients ranging in ages 2-9, eager to give their Christmas wish list.

“My name’s Timmy.”

“And what do you want for Christmas this year, Timmy?” The bearded Father Christmas asked, his raspy voice slightly muffled by the phony white beard masking his face.

The little boy began listing off the traditional list of toys favored by most 5-year-old boys, and Adrian was grinning as Santa indulged him, bouncing him on his knee and saying “Ho-Ho-Ho!”

Although she’d never seen Saint Nick off-duty, he’d been volunteering alongside her for the past week in the children’s wing, and she couldn’t help but admire how strong his arms looked inside the red velour outfit. She’d also spent a good chunk of time trying to envision what lay beneath the white wig and red fuzzy hat which covered the majority of his head. He definitely seemed to have a genuine soft spot for the kids that rivaled her own, always maintaining his patience and jovial disposition, and she sensed he was nowhere near as old as the character he was playing.

It was embarrassing how many countless hours she’d spent wondering what he was like off the clock!

As for herself, Adrian had been volunteering at the Hickfield Clinic as a candy stripper whenever her work as a manager at Lordly Tailor would allow. She’d resigned herself ages ago that at 35, it appeared neither husband nor children would be in the cards for her, but at least she could feed her proverbial biological clock and nurture her soul by attending to children in need. It was especially rewarding yet gut-wrenching this time of the year, seeing youngsters who tragically had to spend the holidays in the hospital.

Every Christmas, for the last seven years, Adrian had taken part in Santa’s workshop, and in that span had met several actors who’d played the role of the jolly fat man. Last year it’d been Larry Butz, but he’d already informed the hospital he would not be able to fill the position this year and had decided to spend his time feeding his artistic aspirations up at Hazakura Temple. Adrian suspected the ethereal Sister Iris being up there had possibly coincided with this decision, but moreover, had been chagrined about where they’d find a last-minute Santa Claus!

Then, at the last minute, as though from the heavens, this tall, mysterious stranger had swooped down and offered to fill the role, which he was perfect for.

“Hey, Merry Sugarplum!” Twinkle SprinklePants addressed Adrian by her embarrassingly ridiculous elf name, which all volunteers had all been assigned, based on slips of paper drawn from a jar, submitted of course, by the children. The head elf lightly tugged at the spectacled woman’s sleeve and whispered to her from behind the lit-up Christmas tree. “You’ve been here since noon and your shift ended at 5:30… it’s 6:00 already! Don’t you want to get home to your family?”

The blonde’s smile faded slightly and her heart gave a painful lurch at the reminder that the only thing she had to look forward to at her lonely apartment was her new kitten, Celeste, named after her beloved late mentor, and a small roast chicken for one as her Christmas Eve dinner. She knew the other woman hadn’t intended to be intentionally cruel, but all of a sudden, she felt like bursting into tears.

Family? What family? I’ve got dead parents and I’m an only child…or did you mean the stray kitten that I found last week and my china doll collection?

Normally, she kept herself busy, with her demanding job at the department store, and spending whatever free time she could with Franziska, her longtime closest confidant. But she knew even that would soon be at a bare minimum soon enough.

Earlier that morning, Miles had called Adrian, asking for her discretion, and then proceeded to inquire about her best friend’s ring size! While of course she’d been delighted to know Franziska and Miles would be soon engaged – of course, the German woman was going to say yes; who in their right mind, male or female, would turn Miles Edgeworth down?! – a small part of her had also felt a twinge of envy and a sense of abandonment, as she felt herself being the last Lone Ranger on Noah’s Ark, which all her friends now rode upon in twosomes.

Looks like it’s just me and Celeste 2.0 again…unless she breaks out and runs off with that tomcat who keeps meowing at my door…

“It’s fine, honestly.” Adrian found her voice at last and forced a smile. “I don’t mind staying until at least 6:30 when dinner is served. Besides, I love working with these kids. And Santa needs his little helper!”

“Timmy quit hogging Santa!” One of the older kids in the back of the line shouted impatiently, at the little boy. “We all want to take a turn before dinner time!”

His loud protest caused a few of the other children in line to start grumbling as well.

“You’ll all get your turn with Santa, Riley!” Adrian said quickly, feeling slightly nervous at the sudden shift in the otherwise tranquil and peaceful atmosphere the surly little brat had caused. “No need to make a fuss!”

“Whatever!” The 9-year-old boy scoffed. “It doesn’t matter what you tell this guy, anyway. We know he’s not the real Santa!”

Adrian’s jaw dropped at the mean-spiritedness behind the words, and several of the children now appeared to be sniffling, whimpering “not the real Santa?!” amongst themselves while the other elves hurriedly tried to defuse the situation and offer them candy canes.

Riley!” she gasped. “Why would you say such a thing? Of course, he’s the real Santa!”

“Yeah, right!” The gobshite’s lip curled into a sneer. “Just like you’re a real elf!”


Adrian blinked, as Santa had risen from his seat to his impressive height, the little boy perched on his lap now resting against his hip as he pointed a well-muscled arm at the little hellion.

Nice children who believe in me, in miraculous things of wonder, are rewarded with the spirit of Christmas and all the goodness and goodies that come with it!” The man in the red suit barked at Riley. His authoritative tone was forceful and commanding. “Bad kids who don’t believe in me only get SpongeBob Squarepants underwear in their stockings!”

That shut Riley up, and a few of the sniffling kids actually began giggling. Adrian let out a silent sigh of relief.

“Humph!” Sitting back down, Santa turned back to the child in his lap, his kind tone once again in place. “I believe you had one more item on your list, Timmy?”

“Just one…” The munchkin’s voice trailed off uncertainly, but then he flashed an angelic smile. “The Doctors said my leg got crushed really badly in the accident a few months ago and he’s not sure if I’ll ever be able to walk again. I – I’d give up all those toys and games I just asked for if I could have that, Santa. That would be the greatest present in the world!”

Adrian stopped breathing, and everyone in the room fell silent. The tears which had been threatening to fall earlier when she’d had her brief moment of self-pity were looming once more. Here she was feeling sorry for herself about being alone at Christmas, and here was this little angel whose sole wish was to merely walk again, something she took for granted daily! She had no idea how Santa would reply to such a heart-breaking question, and felt her eyes beginning to sting.

“Timmy, do you know what hope is?” Santa asked the little boy, clearing his throat as his voice now sounded husky, showing Adrian even he had been as choked by the wish as she’d been.

“I think so.” Timmy nodded earnestly. “It means when you want something really bad, even when people tell you it’s impossible, right?”

“Yes. I’m going to tell you right now to never stop believing in hope and miracles, Timmy. Two years ago… At close to Christmastime a – man I knew, he was a prosecutor – was told that he didn’t have very long to live.”

Adrian stared at Santa Claus in disbelief, wondering why he would decide to tell such a dark-sounding tale in front of little children.

“He – he was going to die?” Timmy was awestruck.

“Yes. He had all but given up hope. But he had a friend, a very special young woman, who loved him and had enough hope for the both of them. With all her heart, she believed she could perform a miracle and save that man’s life. So she did everything in her power, with her unending hope driving her, and in the end, that man did live – because that girl never stopped believing, or hoping for the best.”

Santa patted the little boy on the head as a few of the other elves, including Adrian, began to sniffle slightly.

“Hope is a bright star in a hopelessly dark universe. Through light-years of distance, the brightness fills our inner selves. Hope makes us smile on the inside as well as on the outside. Hope is not just an emotion, it is a promise that smiling and laughter are just around the corner. When the boxing fighter has been laid on the canvas by a well-placed right to the jaw, hope is there saying, ‘Get up. Take a nine-count if you must, but be ready to stand, and have the referee dust off your gloves. You’re going to win this match.’ That’s what you need to be, kid. Be that fighter. Can you do that, Timmy?”

The little boy nodded earnestly.

“Hope is drawn to the person who sees beyond the present defeat, beyond the moment of being cast down, beyond the loss of the job, and beyond the negative words of hopeless voices. There is that voice from the “bright star” telling us to look beyond the darkness – to the bright light of hope. Don’t you ever lose that hope, Timmy! It’s what you’ll need to walk again. I believe someday that wish of yours will be granted – just as long as you don’t give up hope.”

“Thanks, Santa!” Timmy was beaming as he rolled off, and Adrian wondered if it was at all possible to fall in love with a man whose neither face nor name she knew.


The words of wisdom rankled in Adrian’s mind even till 7:00 when the last child had made their wish, and gone back to their rooms for dinner, and Santa’s workshop was closed.

What a wonderful, beautiful message Santa gave that boy … maybe I should keep reminding myself of it whenever I’m down.

She was cleaning up Santa’s village, the last of the elves alongside the man in red, and now that they were alone, she wanted to tell him how amazing he’d been.

“That was a really beautiful story you told Timmy, Santa,” she said bashfully. “I wanted to let you know that I found it very inspiring, too. I didn’t think it would be possible for me to feel so enlightened and spirited again. Truth be known, earlier tonight I even contemplated coming to sit upon your knee myself.”

“I beg your pardon?” Santa’s eyes widened underneath his fur-lined cap, and Adrian slowly felt her cheeks reddening as she realized how her innocuous statement sounded more naughty than nice.

“I didn’t mean that the way it sounded!” Blushing furiously now, Adrian took off the elf hat she’d been wearing and fanned her burning cheeks. “I mean, I wanted to sit on your lap and pretend I was a little girl again, and hopefully have my Christmas spirits restored, because I’ve been feeling so lonely lately, especially at this time of the year.”

She wasn’t sure how much better it would be for Santa knew she wasn’t some kind of kinky pervert and was just pathetically sad and lonely instead! She suddenly just wanted to disappear entirely. What had she been thinking?!

A flicker of amusement danced in Santa’s dark grey eyes, along with what could only be described as compassion, even though his cadence was still gruff.

“I’m no stranger to loneliness, either. My sister, my only remaining family, is behind bars, so I’ve been trying to surround myself with innocent souls to restore personal faith in mankind, along with my own spirit of Christmas.”

“I – I’m sorry to hear that,” she said quietly. “Nobody should have to be alone during the holiday season.”

“I figured since you were inspired to pour out your heart to me, perhaps in the spirit of the Yuletide season and goodwill to fellow man, I will do the same thing, and let you be privy to my identity as well.”

He pulled off his beard then, allowing her to see fair skin and angular features of a striking man no older than his 30’s.

“51 weeks of the year, I’m known as Prosecutor Simon Blackquill or the Twisted Samurai. But for one magical week of the year, I get to spread my real-life message of hope to pure-hearted, often less fortunate little angels in the world, and be Saint Nick for them.”

“That man who’d lost hope!” She gasped in amazement. “The one saved by that girl… that was you?”

“Two years ago, Athena Cykes and The Wright Anything Agency saved me from death row,” Simon affirmed with a curt nod. “That little redheaded Pollyanna helped restore my faith somewhat in the goodness of man, and I like to pass that message onto those who need it the most, including Tiny Tim there.”

“You’re incredible,” she said softly, touched by the kindness she saw in his mesmerizing smoky orbs. Even with the slight shadows under his eyes, the dark depths gave him a mysteriously brooding, yet alluring appearance. “I heard all about that court case in the media, but up until now, I had no idea who you were. Um, clearly, Merry Sugarplum isn’t my name. I’m Adrian Andrews. And I want to thank you, Simon, for helping restore my hope in good things.”

“Merry Sugarplum!” A little voice called out suddenly at the other end of the hall. “Santa! Look! It’s a Christmas miracle!”

Simon and Adrian turned around, with the prosecutor hurriedly slapping his beard back on, and saw little Timmy smilingly wheeling towards them, a young dark-haired couple, presumably the boy’s parents, coming behind him. A doctor in a white lab coat was trailing the family, holding a pair of wooden crutches.

“I’m happy to say I was able to give Timmy some wonderful news just now,” the beaming medic told the surprised duo. “And he insisted on rushing back to you so you could be the first ones to see for yourselves what he’s been calling his proof of hope!”

Right before Adrian Andrews and Simon Blackquill’s astounded eyes, Timmy braced himself on the crutches, and then actually hobbled towards the two of them, right into Merry Sugarplum’s outstretched arms.

“Look at me! I can walk again!” Timmy stated proudly, his cherubic face lit up like the twinkling Christmas tree behind them. “I’m so excited I could show Santa Claus how he was right about not giving up hope!”

“He’s going to need some physiotherapy, and I admit I did have my doubts, but some miracles just can’t be explained,” the doctor grinned, reaching into his pocket and handing a Kleenex to the dark-haired woman now weeping tears of joy behind him, and then another one to Adrian as she dabbed at her own eyes.

“Timmy that’s wonderful!” She sniffled, reaching down to hug the boy. “I feel like this was my Christmas gift too!”

“Don’t cry, Merry Sugarplum!” The little boy awkwardly patted Adrian on the shoulder, too young to understand the concept of happy female tears. “Santa, your elf is sad! You should kiss her to make her happy!”

“I – er…” Simon felt his face burning from the out-of-the-blue command.

“You have to!” Timmy commanded. “Can’t you see that the two of you are standing under mistletoe?”

“What?!” Adrian’s tears had dried now, and with a startled glance, she saw that the boy was right. A sprig of mistletoe and holly hung directly above their heads, which she had never noticed before. “Where?! When?! How did that get there?”

“You wouldn’t want to disappoint a little boy at Christmas, would you Santa?” Timmy smiled slyly. “After all, Mommy and Daddy told me that kissing under the mistletoe is an X-mas tradition!”

Adrian felt her face flaming.

Simon’s not going to want to kiss meHe’s a successful prosecutor and a badass samurai! Meanwhile, I’m just a sad old lady, veering middle age, who just told him her depressing life story! Moreover…I’m as inexperienced as a schoolgirl by now; I haven’t kissed anybody since I was fake dating Juan Corrida all those years ago…

The next thing she knew, Simon had pulled down his beard and lowered his face to hers, and their lips met. It was the most perfect kiss she’d ever had in her life, one she’d only dreamed of for far too long. He placed his hand on her waist and drew her closer, deepening the kiss, thus letting her know, without needing to say another word, that this was more than just an obligatory mistletoe kiss for him.

When they finally parted, she saw his eyes sparkle and lips curve up into a mischievous smirk. Her heart fluttering in her chest, Adrian couldn’t help but smile back.

“I’d be delighted to try this again, without an audience, later tonight.” Simon flashed her a wicked grin. “But first, how would you feel about spending Christmas Eve having soba noodles with an off-duty samurai, Adrian?”

“I’d love it.” Her chestnut eyes sparkled. “It’s better than anything I could have hoped for.”

JP: Christmastime is one of hope and miracles…and love uniting those who are alone at this time of year. I decided to pair off the possibly loneliest souls in the AA universe … aka the biggest sub and biggest dom I could think of! I hope you enjoyed my crack pairing of Simian!


Heart-Warming Java Shots Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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